As July Fourth approaches, many of us look forward to our favorite festivities: fireworks, barbecues, and outdoor fun. However, while these celebrations are enjoyable for you, they can be stressful and dangerous for your furry friend. Learn our Krichel Animal Hospital team’s essential tips to ensure your pet has a safe and happy Independence Day.

Fireworks: Not a pet’s best friend

Fireworks are a July Fourth celebration staple, but the bright flashes and earsplitting shrieks, whistles, and booms can be terrifying for pets. Keep your four-legged friend safe, sound, and secure during fireworks shows by following these tips:

  • Create a safe space — Set up a quiet, comfortable area in your home where your pet can retreat from the noise. Fill it with their favorite treats, interactive toys, and a cozy bed.
  • Soundproof the room — Consider playing soft music or white noise to help mask the fireworks sounds.
  • Update identification (ID) tags — Ensure your pet’s collar ID tags and microchip information are up to date in case your furry pal runs away.
  • Stay indoors — Keep your pet indoors during fireworks displays. Even if your pet is usually calm, the unexpected loud noises can cause them to panic and potentially run away.
  • Consult our veterinarian — If your pet has severe anxiety, speak with our Krichel Animal Hospital veterinarian about possible solutions, such as calming supplements or prescribed medications.

Hot grills: A recipe for pet disasters

Barbecues are a July Fourth tradition, but they pose various hazards to your pet. To prevent your pet from having a veterinary emergency, consider these dangerous barbecue items:

  • Hot grills — Curious pets can suffer from burned paws or muzzles if they try to snatch barbecuing food off hot grills. Keep your pet away from the cooking area until the grill is cool and clean. 
  • Skewers — Discarded skewers can be tempting for pets but they are extremely dangerous. If your pet swallows a discarded skewer, they can choke or sustain a serious internal injury. Ensure all used skewers are disposed of in a secure trash bin.
  • Grease drippings — As hamburgers, hot dogs, and ribs roast on the grill, grease splatters to the gravel or dirt below. Some pets try to lick up the drippings, also ingesting rocks, dirt, or grass that can cause an obstruction.

Toxic foods: Hidden pet dangers

Many foods we enjoy during Independence Day celebrations are harmful to pets. Keep your four-legged friend safe by:

  • Avoiding table scraps — Foods, such as chocolate, onions, grapes, and alcohol, are toxic to pets. Keep these items out of your furry pal’s reach, and inform guests not to feed your pet any table scraps.
  • Offering pet-friendly treats — Provide your pet with their own special treats to keep them occupied and satisfied.

Sizzling summertime: Beat the heat with your pet

Summer heat can be dangerous for pets, especially during outdoor festivities. Ensure your furry friend stays safe and cool by following these tips: 

  • Encourage hydration — Ensure your pet has access to fresh water at all times. Consider placing multiple water bowls around your home and in your yard.
  • Provide shade — Create shaded areas where your pet can escape the sun. Pop-up tents or umbrellas work great for this purpose.
  • Limit exercise — Avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day. Opt for early morning or late evening walks when temperatures are cooler.

Swimming and splashing: Risky fun for pets

Swimming is a great way to cool off during the summer. If your July Fourth plans include swimming, keep these pet safety tips in mind:

  • Monitor closely — Always supervise your pet around water. Not all pets are natural swimmers, and even experienced swimmers can tire easily.
  • Stay afloat — Consider outfitting your pet in a life vest, especially if you’re in open water or if your pet is not a strong swimmer.
  • Rinse off — After swimming, rinse off your pet to remove chlorine or salt, which can irritate their skin.

Skin protection: Toxic topicals for pets

Flea, tick, and heartworm preventives are safe topical products to help defend your pet from certain pests, but other summertime topicals can be unsafe. Before applying the following products to your four-legged friend, verify they are safe for pets:

  • Insect repellent — If insects bug your pet as much as they do you, you may be tempted to douse your furry friend in a DEET-based spray. However, many insect repellent ingredients are toxic to pets, so use only veterinarian-recommended products.
  • Sunscreen — Pets, especially those with light-colored fur or exposed skin, can get sunburned. Use a pet-safe sunscreen on sensitive areas such as their nose and ears.

Independence Day is a time for celebration, but you must remember your pet’s safety and comfort. If your furry friend encounters a July Fourth danger, contact our Krichel Animal Hospital team for help.